Infiltrating the enemy at night is a smart move for the ninja because:
1. The enemy forces aren’t fully prepared at this time
2. They’re busy building quarters or setting up their camps
3. They are often are less vigilant
Scoping It Out
A ninja network often had spies on the inside who would give them information as to the castle set-up, passwords, people, how things worked, when the night patrol would pass certain places and special events that might distract the enemy and allow for an attack.
There were many ways of figuring out when your enemy would be asleep and how long, based on age, weight and season of the year. Another thing you needed to have before infiltrating, was knowledge of identifying marks, passwords, flags, seals and crests that the enemy uses.
How to Strike
One good way to infiltrate the castle is to sneak in with the enemy soldiers. This works well unless the enemy is well trained and has a vetting process. Make sure you know the password if they have one.
The technique of “moon on the water” is where you draw the enemy away from the castle with “bait” in the form of a fake army that engages them from the opposite direction of where you plan to infiltrate.
When to Strike
Good times to infiltrate are:
- When the enemy is tired from travelling, from a battle, from adverse weather or even during a prolonged battle.
- When the enemy is busy with building camp, cooking or caring for horses.
- When the enemy is confused, during loud events, a rainstorm, unforeseen accidents, or while the enemy is fleeing in fear,
- When the enemy is prideful from receiving reinforcements, winning a victory or planning an attack against your side.
Where to Infiltrate
Approach the enemy from an opposite side of forces that are attacking so you can infiltrate. Infiltrate where people are gathering if it’s a large castle or from a steep and difficult area in the case of a small castle. A night of heavy wind and rain is a great time to attack or infiltrate! During a storm, you can deliver a night attack smoothly.
If the enemy grows tired during a prolonged battle, you can infiltrate during the conflict.
Other places to infiltrate could be found by a river or marshy area, through a gutter or waterway, through a moat that leads into the enclosure or by getting on top of the roof of the castle gatehouse.
One last, important point: Make sure you’ve got a way to identify your allies so no one can slip by you and infiltrate by sneaking in with your ranks!